With pricing for recreational property returning to normal after the downturn and more confidence by buyers in the economy’s prospects, buying activity for Potlatch land is picking up.
“Buyers we are working with are more confident about making a purchasing decision,” said Rod Osterloh of Close-Converse Properties, a Potlatch Preferred Broker in Minnesota. “And the summer and early fall are great times to buy, as people get ready to use the property for the coming hunting season.”
As always, buying a property starts with deciding the general area you want to be in. And buyers often have an affinity for a certain area: Often, the buyer grew up in that area, or may have friends and family nearby. And of course, the type of recreation comes into play, whether it’s looking for quality deer hunting or proximity to family recreational activities.
Another factor driving the increased demand for land is apprehension about the stock market.
“There are always folks who worry about the fluctuations of the stock market,” Osterloh said. “They worry about the value of their holdings going to zero. And while values of land dropped during the recession before they recovered, the values certainly never dropped that low, which is reassuring for buyers.”
In addition to seeking recreational opportunities, many buyers also are attracted by the potential for income, tied to the timber on the property.
“Having income potential is a major bonus for many of our buyers, and we can help someone understand the timber markets and the possibility for that income,” said Mark Knight of Davis Dubose Knight Forestry & Real Estate, a Potlatch Preferred Broker in Arkansas.
There are also several other factors making this an excellent time to buy. Interest rates remain low, and more lending institutions are making loans on land, part of an overall trend of increased real estate lending around the country.
A key in making a buying decision, both Osterloh and Knight say, is to give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect property for you.
“The more ‘must haves’ you can tell us at the start, the better we can narrow down choices for you,” Knight said. “But even with that, we find that buyers usually need to look at a number of properties before they find the property that fits their needs.”
And with fall around the corner, the time to start that process is now.
This article was originally published in our Summer/Fall 2015 quarterly newsletter, the Potlatch Property Perspective. For more from this issue – or others – visit our Newsletter Library.